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Government starts identifying companies that have not filed photos of office premises, director

The ministry had extended the deadline for complying with the norm aimed at identifying shell companies.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 18, 2019, 06.40 PM IST
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A senior government official told ET that this form was part of the government’s efforts to crack down on shell companies and professionals who have been signing off on company filings without due diligence.
The government has begun the process of identifying companies and directors that have not filed a form requiring photographs of both the registered office and one company director by June 15 according to a release by the ministry of corporate affairs. The ministry had extended the deadline for complying with the norm aimed at identifying shell companies after receiving representations from industry that many companies were finding it difficult to file the form by the earlier deadline – April 25.

The “Active Company Tagging Identities and Verification(ACTIVE)” form requires companies to upload a photograph of the external facade of their registered office with a board displaying the company name, corporate identity number, address of the entity, email and phone number. The entity also has to upload a photo of the office interior showing at least one director who will also sign the form. Start-ups in particular had sought exemption from some requirements in the form as many of them operate out of homes or shared premises.

Companies that have missed the revised deadline may have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 for late filing and will not be allowed to amend its capital structure or take part in any merger or amalgamation.

A senior government official told ET that this form was part of the government’s efforts to crack down on shell companies and professionals who have been signing off on company filings without due diligence.

“They (professionals) were doing it (signing off on filings) in a matter of fact routine manner without bothering to visit the premises.” Said the official adding that such professionals would be held personally liable if they had wrongly certified a company’s filings.

The ministry deregistered over one lakh companies from the registrar of companies in the last fiscal.
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